December 07, 2013
Police analysis suggests that about 50 percent of crimes could have been prevented had "basic" security measures been implemented, Superintendent Stephen Dean said.
Dean said many Bahamians failed to protect themselves and their property and unintentionally gave criminals easy access to their property.
"The criminal element is getting much wiser," he said during a crime prevention press conference at police headquarters this week.
"They are trying all kinds of tactics to get at you. The best defense against crime is you.
"We can put all the technology in place but you have that awesome responsibility in the crime prevention."
Up to July 16 -- the last date crime statistics were revealed this year -- police had recorded 5,726 major crimes.
At least 2,863 of those crimes could have been prevented if people had taken some precautions.
Dean said too often people give would-be criminals the "opportunity" to commit crimes.
"I just went to an incident this morning where a lady in a populated place took her hand bag and put in the back seat of the car and put a towel over it," he said. "When she came back, it was stolen. The car had been broken into.
"Sometimes you create the opportunity. A person might not want to commit the crime, but you created the opportunity. If you could remove the opportunity for the criminal, there will not likely be a crime."
He added that "someone is always watching".
Dean noted that some criminals will commit crimes whether people put in protective measures or not.
However, he encouraged members of the public to take as many precautions as they can.
He said people should pay attention to their surroundings.
When shopping, he said, consider taking someone.
Dean said people should also avoid carrying large sums of cash.
As for the safety of vehicles, Dean said people should always lock their doors, park in well-lit areas and take all personal property out of their vehicles.
He reminded residents to ensure that all windows and doors on their homes have secondary locks. For those who can afford it, he also suggested they install a burglar alarm system.
"Remember that the enemies of the burglar are time and attention," he said. "The longer it takes to enter and the more noise he makes, increase his chances of being seen and caught. Homes not easily and quickly broken into are most often bypassed for easier targets."
Dean noted that the yuletide season is a time when criminals target people in greater numbers.
He assured that the full complement of the police force will be patrolling the streets.
Assistant Superintendent Matthew Edgecombe, who heads the Business and Technology Crimes Unit, encouraged business owners to watch out for credit card fraud.
He said police have also noted a trend in counterfeit $10 and $20 bills.
Edgecombe said check fraud and employee theft are also increasing.
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News date : 12/07/2013 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories